Blog Assignment: Digital Nation on PBS

| 2 Comments

Summer 2014 Blog Assignment:
Please Watch this PBS FRONTLINE show Online
Digital Nation
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/

Watch the entire 90 minute show in segments online.
Make notes on each topic segment...
LIVING FASTER
RELATIONSHIPS
WAGING WAR
VIRTUAL WORLDS
LEARNING
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/
Make notes and write a short reflection on what you found most interesting or surprising about the show. (about 150 words)

2 Comments

Ronni VanDenBoom

The internet seems to fit the American lifestyle perfectly; users receive fast results in the easiest way possible. It makes sense that this quick and easy tool would be incorporated into our every day life from education to entertainment. Since this tool is used in such a wide variety, it only makes sense that we would blur the uses together and multitask. It is obvious that our attention spans are suffering from this exposure to the internet however the documentary brings up an interesting point in technological evolution; with the invention of the printing press we had lost our ability to memorize large quantities of information. Our loss of attention span is simply the price we are paying for this quick lifestyle.
Gaming is overall an interesting topic in regards to the internet. New inventions are still emerging to make the gaming experience more interactive; Occulus Rift is an in progress invention that allows the viewer to have a 360 view of their game. Thus, players can seemingly walk right into his or her game. As mentioned in the documentary, this envelopment of our brains could be harmful to us, causing symptoms as extreme as illness after returning to the "real world."
In a similar note, it would be interesting if this virtual world technology would be used in education for things such as homeschooling or online classes. In regards to the military training using video games, I believe that it is beneficial for training purposes, though corrupt to lure children into the army by using games that glorify war. Some games, however, can depict the horrors of war. Spec Ops: The Line, for example, takes the player through moral choices and causes the player to deal with the consequences of the decisions made; PTSD is a common theme in the game and players must walk though areas that they have bombed or slaughtered, forcing them to observe the casualties.

I feel like I’ve seen this documentary before, it seems vaguely familiar. The reasoning behind that may be because the subject of the video is nothing new, as a young adult in the technologically run world I have heard that kids my age do too much multitasking. I agree and disagree with this documentary. I do know people who multitask constantly, people who can barely set down their smartphone, iPad, or computer for more than 5 minutes. Being around people like that can be unbearable at times because it seems like they are not paying attention to a word that you’re saying. But I do also think that my generation and younger generations can still fully function while doing multiple things at once. Listening to music and doing homework or creating art is something that I do and have noticed that without listening to music I get bored easily and my art isn’t up to par. I suppose it depends on the person and what type of multitasking they are doing. The video game topic and being addicted to the internet are also familiar topics. I can see why someone could get addicted to the internet, you can find almost anything you want in seconds! And with gaming, it’s just another way to socialize with others that have similar interests. Some kids are losing their real socializing skills because of the internet and it’s a real shame but I can’t think of a way to fix this problem.

Desiree Harper

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